Gemini Wahhaj — The Children of This Madness - with Javed Jahangir and Sonal Kohli — at Union Market

Upcoming Event
Saturday, March 16, 2024 - 3:00pm

This event is in partnership with the Washington Literacy Center.

Three South Asian Writers Present their Debut Fiction exploring the intersection of private lives with historical events

In The Children of this Madness, Gemini Wahhaj pens a complex tale of modern Bengalis, one that illuminates the recent histories not only of Bangladesh, but America and Iraq. Told in multiple voices over successive eras, this is the story of Nasir Uddin and his daughter Beena, and the intersection of their distant, vastly different lives.

As the US war in Iraq plays out a world away, and Beena struggles to belong to Houston’s tony Bengali American community-many of whom serve the same corporate masters she sees destroying Iraq-recently widowed engineering professor Nasir Uddin journeys to America not only to see Beena and her new husband but the many former students who make up the immigrant community Beena has come to view with ambivalence. With subtlety, grace, and love, Wahhaj dramatizes this mingling of generations and cultures, and the search for an ever-elusive home that define the Bengali American experience.

Gemini Wahhaj is a Bangladeshi American writer living in the US. She wrote her debut novel The Children of This Madness as a new immigrant in the US, while she was a graduate student in the creative writing program at the University of Houston and war raged in Iraq. She is grateful to publish the novel in December of this year, in the 20 year anniversary of the Iraq war, about Bengalis living in Texas, and their complicated history with both Iraq and the US.

Wahhaj will be in conversation with Javed Jahangir and Sonal Kohli.

Javed Jahangir’s fiction has been published in LUMINA Literary Journal (Sarah Lawrence College), HIMAL Magazine, Smokelong Journal, LOST Magazine, Bengal Lights Journal, Six Seasons Review, Daily Star, Bangladesh, and others. He was on the 2011 panel of judges for the RISCA (Rhode Island State Council Arts) Fiction Fellowship award. He was part of Jenna Blum’s Master Class at Grub Street. He has contributed to, and been editor-in-chief for The Grub Street Writers’ 10 year Anthology, and has been a reader for the Harvard Review. His novel, Ghost Alley, was published by Bengal Foundation Publishing, and debuted at the Hay Festival in 2014. Ghost Alley was reviewed in Wasafiri Journal. He is currently working on a second novel, and a collection of short stories.

Sonal Kohli grew up in Delhi and now lives in Washington, D.C. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, UK, and has received fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Sangam House. 'The House Next to the Factory', her critically acclaimed book of linked stories, was long listed for the Tata Literature Live! First Book Award, was a Book of the Year for The Hindu, Hindustan Times, The Wire, and is a BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime.

This event is free with first come, first served seating.

1324 4th St NE
Washington, DC 20002
Union Market
Fiction & Poetry
The Children of This Madness By Gemini Wahhaj Cover Image
ISBN: 9798987747148
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: 7.13 Books - December 5th, 2023